GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

12 Days to Better Golf

1  of  12

Day 1: Putting Basics + Making Solid Contact

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

If you’re like most golfers, the quickest way to improve your game is to get back to basics. In this 12-video series, that means setting the first building block for the short game and the full swing. In this video, teacher Brian Schorsten shares some putting tips and keys to making solid strikes with the wedges.

SWING THOUGHTS

On short putts, make an even-paced stroke back and through—no changes in speed
Use a short, firm swing to get a clean strike on wedge shots
With wedges, picture the club as a match and the ground as a matchbox: Strike the match for a crisp hit
Engage your lower body on wedge shots: Imagine pushing the club back with your front leg and kicking your back leg forward as you swing through

DRILLS

Smooth Stroke

  • Place a full water bottle a few feet in front of you, representing the hole.
  • Grip as you normally do with your top hand, but use just your index finger and thumb to grip with your bottom hand.
  • Roll some short putts. This modified grip will help you make a smoother stroke.
Day 2: Ball-Striking + Short Putts
2 Day 2: Ball-Striking + Short Putts
  • How to take perfect divots
  • How to hit putts on line

12 Days to Better Golf

2  of  12

Day 2: Ball-Striking + Short Putts

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

In this video, Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Brian Schorsten demonstrates a few drills to improve your ball-striking and short putting.

SWING THOUGHTS

For solid contact on wedge shots, make sure your divot starts after the ball
On short putts, key on proper alignment and hitting with the putterface square

DRILLS

The Tee Gate

  • Place two tees on the ground, one to the inside and one to the outside of your clubhead.
  • With a wedge, practice striking the ground between the tees. That’s where to play your ball—and where your divot should start.

Check the Face

  • Grab a scorecard, and draw a line down the fold in the middle.
  • Put the scorecard on a green with the line pointing toward a hole, and place a ball just in front of the card.
  • Use the front edge of the scorecard to make sure your putterface is square to the target.
  • Stroke some putts, checking that the face stays square and the putter swings down the line.
Day 3: Keys For Chipping + The Swing Sequence
3 Day 3: Keys For Chipping + The Swing Sequence
  • Make chipping simple
  • Learn to use your body

12 Days to Better Golf

3  of  12

Day 3: Keys For Chipping + The Swing Sequence

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Sometimes the best way to improve your game is to oversimplify. This goes for the short game and the long game, and teacher Jason Guss covers both in this video. Here are some chipping basics and tips on how to use your body in the full swing.

SWING THOUGHTS

To pre-set good contact on chips, set your feet close together, then open your stance slightly and flare out your front foot
Chipping requires a descending strike, so press your weight into your front foot at address
In chipping, focus on keeping your arms soft and pivoting your body back and through
On the full swing, freely turn your hips on the backswing, then slide them forward, shifting your weight
Once you start the downswing, think about turning your body all the way through

DRILLS

Chipping 1-2-3

  • Step 1: From a narrow stance, pull your front foot a few inches away from the target line.
  • Step 2: Rotate that front foot toward the target about 20 degrees.
  • Step 3: Set the majority of your weight on your front side.
  • Practice hitting chips from this setup, and notice how solidly you strike the ball.
Day 4: Weight Shift + Steady Chips
4 Day 4: Weight Shift + Steady Chips
  • How to shift your weight
  • How to nip those chips

12 Days to Better Golf

4  of  12

Day 4: Weight Shift + Steady Chips

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Jason Guss shares two drills: one that will help you shift your weight in the full swing and one that will promote consistent chip shots.

SWING THOUGHTS

On the backswing, shift your weight on the inside of your back foot—no farther
To start the downswing, shift your weight to your front foot
In the chipping setup, your back foot should support almost no weight
Hold your finish on chip shots for as long as you can to keep good balance

DRILLS

Don’t Crush the Box

  • Place a golf-glove box on the ground under the outside of your back foot.
  • On the backswing, don’t crush the box by letting your weight drift back too far.
  • Work on your weight staying on the inside of your back foot as you swing to the top.
  • Push away from the box as fast as you can to start down, shifting your weight forward.

The Flamingo Drill

  • Set up to hit a chip, then drop your back foot behind you, and set it on its toes.
  • This setup will move almost all of your weight to your front foot.
  • Hit chips like this, keeping your weight forward, to improve balance and contact.
Day 5: Driving For Distance + Precision Pitching
5 Day 5: Driving For Distance + Precision Pitching
  • Add distance off the tee
  • Upgrade your pitching

12 Days to Better Golf

5  of  12

Day 5: Driving For Distance + Precision Pitching

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Every golfer wants to hit the driver long and straight and pitch it close to the hole. There are a few simple keys that can rev up your driver swing and dial in your pitching motion. Here, teacher Trillium Rose covers some basic instruction in these two critical areas.

SWING THOUGHTS

To make an upward strike with the driver, tee the ball high and off your front instep
With the driver, tilt your upper body away from the target, and make a full shoulder turn
On driver swings, finish on your front foot, making a full body rotation through the ball
For precise pitches, set the ball in the middle of your stance, and keep your weight forward as you swing
In pitching, rotate your torso back, then turn your entire body through

DRILLS

The Triangle Drill

  • Clap your hands together in front of you without a club, forming a triangle with your arms.
  • Then do the same as you take your grip with a wedge.
  • Keep that triangle intact, back and through, as you practice hitting pitch shots.
Day 6: Impact Checks + Swing Motion
6 Day 6: Impact Checks + Swing Motion
  • How to control your pitches
  • How to boost swing speed

12 Days to Better Golf

6  of  12

Day 6: Impact Checks + Swing Motion

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

It’s time to hone your driving and pitching skills. In this video, Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Trillium Rose will show you how to sharpen your wedge contact and add speed with the driver.

SWING THOUGHTS

Learn to strike a spot on the ground to groove your pitching motion
For high-lofted pitch shots, let the clubface rotate upward in the backswing
On tee shots, hinge your wrists fully on the backswing to maximize power
Square the clubface at impact with the driver for optimal launch and control

DRILLS

Pitching Control

  • Lay two clubs down, one down your target line and one perpendicular to it. Set up with the clubhead at the intersection of the two clubs, where you’d want to hit the ball.
  • On your backswing, make sure the club you’re swinging matches the target-line club on the ground, with your clubface pointing upward.
  • First, learn to hit that intersection point on the ground without a ball, then hit balls.

Swing-Speed Booster

  • Hold your driver in front of you with outstretched arms.
  • Widen your stance like you are going to hit a drive.
  • Swing back baseball-style, turning your shoulders and letting your wrists hinge.
  • On the way forward, keep your lead arm across your chest as you press into your front foot. Stop the club where you started and confirm that the face is square.
  • After a few reps, slowly tilt forward, making more air swings, until you’re in a normal setup.
Day 7: Finesse Wedges + Iron-Play Basics
7 Day 7: Finesse Wedges + Iron-Play Basics
  • Sync up your wedges
  • Stretch for distance

12 Days to Better Golf

7  of  12

Day 7: Finesse Wedges + Iron-Play Basics

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

The fundamentals of good iron play are critical for developing golfers or those needing a refresher. And hitting less-than-full wedge shots is a skill every golfer needs. In this video, teacher Jason Sedan shares tips on sequencing the iron swing and controlling the wedges.

SWING THOUGHTS

For consistent wedge shots, learn to turn your body in sync with the club
Control wedge distance by varying how far you swing the club back and through
To create power in a full swing, swing your hands, arms and body back, then shift your lower body away from your upper body to start down

DRILLS

Body Swings

  • Pull the grip end of the club to your sternum, and slide your hands halfway down the shaft.
  • From this position, turn back and through, seeing how your body turn moves the club.
  • You’re learning to regulate the swing with body rotation.

The Step Drill

  • Using a middle iron, set up with your feet close together.
  • As you swing back, take a little step back with your right foot.
  • Before you finish the backswing, step forward with your left foot.
  • Practice hitting shots with this two-step motion.
Day 8: Solid Strikes + Wedge Play
8 Day 8: Solid Strikes + Wedge Play
  • How to groove pure impact
  • How to master the no-hit wedge

12 Days to Better Golf

8  of  12

Day 8: Solid Strikes + Wedge Play

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

After you learn the basic swing positions with the irons and wedges, use these two drills from Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Jason Sedan to groove solid strikes in both areas.

SWING THOUGHTS

For solid iron strikes, focus on your lower body starting the downswing
Feel like the club lays down on the downswing to produce a proper delivery into the ball
On wedge shots, keep your body turning through with the club

DRILLS

Pure Impact

  • Place a ball high on a tee, like you would for a driver, and grab your 6-iron.
  • Work on using your lower body to start the downswing, letting the club lay down to produce a shallow angle of attack.
  • Hit shots with the tee staying in the ground, rather than cutting it out with a steep swing.

No-Hit Wedge

  • Set up with two clubs in your hands, one with your normal grip and the other choked up so the clubhead is right below your hands, with the shaft running up the lead side of your body.
  • Hit balls focusing on the second club not bumping the side of your body. You’ll avoid a handsy flip at the bottom of the swing.
Day 9: Fairway Woods + Distance Putting
9 Day 9: Fairway Woods + Distance Putting
  • Crush your fairway woods
  • Eliminate three-putts

12 Days to Better Golf

9  of  12

Day 9: Fairway Woods + Distance Putting

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Two of the more common challenges amateurs face are getting a 3-wood in the air from the fairway and eliminating the dreaded three-putt. In this video, teacher Renee Trudeau O'Higgins shows you ways to improve your fairway woods and roll long putts close.

SWING THOUGHTS

To make solid strikes with fairway woods, play the ball just inside your left heel
On fairway-wood shots, feel like you’re dragging the club back with your left arm staying long
To start the downswing, shift your weight to the left to promote ball-first contact
On long lag putts, take the pressure off by imagining that the hole is much larger
Use a consistent rhythm on long putts, with your stroke the same length back and through

DRILLS

Focus Shift

  • Golfers tend to obsess over stroke mechanics on long-range putts.
  • On the practice green, shift your attention to a target area that you imagine: a large circle with the hole in the middle.
  • Practice spending more time looking out at the target than down on the putterhead.
Day 10: Putting Feel + Impact Test
10 Day 10: Putting Feel + Impact Test
  • How to become a feel putter
  • How to flush it off the fairway

12 Days to Better Golf

10  of  12

Day 10: Putting Feel + Impact Test

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

In this video, Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Renee Trudeau O'Higgins demonstrates drills that will help you improve your lag putting and flush those fairway woods.

SWING THOUGHTS

For lag putts, use your feet as guides: your right foot going back, your left going through
Get a feel for covering long distances with your stroke—30, 40, 50 feet
On fairway-wood shots, shift to your front foot to start the downswing
To pure fairway woods off the ground, focus on brushing the turf after impact

DRILLS

Get in the Baby Pool

  • Walk off 30, 40 and 50 feet, and place a tee at each distance.
  • Imagine there’s a baby pool at each tee. Starting at 30 feet, try to roll three balls in a row within baby-pool range.
  • Repeat from 40 and 50 feet.

The Two-Tee Drill

  • Lay two tees on the ground four or five inches apart on the target line.
  • Address the first tee, and take a swing trying to sweep both tees off the ground.
  • If you’re hitting only the back tee, you have too much weight on your right foot at impact.
  • To hit both tees, shift more weight to your left foot and brush the ground after impact.
  • Once you’ve done this for a while, replace the back tee with a ball, and try to hit the ball and sweep the front tee.
Day 11: Pitching Accuracy + The Driver Draw
11 Day 11: Pitching Accuracy + The Driver Draw
  • Pitch like the pros
  • Learn to hit a power draw

12 Days to Better Golf

11  of  12

Day 11: Pitching Accuracy + The Driver Draw

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Most golfers want to hit a draw with the driver, and every golfer needs help hitting better pitch shots. Here, teacher Joe Compitello discusses some simple tips on becoming a competent pitcher and learning to hit long, high draws off the tee.

SWING THOUGHTS

For control on pitches, narrow your stance, and take a longer backswing and shorter finish
Pitch with a flat left wrist at impact for predictable contact and distance control
Keep your grip soft and arms supple to promote a draw with the driver
Don’t unwind your shoulders to start the downswing; instead, shift your hips toward the target

DRILLS

Flat-Wrist Progression

  • Practice hitting short chips with the shaft leaning toward the target at address and the left wrist flat.
  • Keep the left wrist flat as you swing back and through with no wrist hinge.
  • Gradually hit longer shots, maintaining a flat left wrist even as the wrists hinge going back, unhinge coming down, and rehinge going through.
Day 12: Power Driving + Wedge Control
12 Day 12: Power Driving + Wedge Control
  • How to turn it right to left
  • How to pitch any distance

12 Days to Better Golf

12  of  12

Day 12: Power Driving + Wedge Control

video breakdown

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Learning to trust that you’ll hit a draw takes practice, especially if you’re used to hitting a slice. It’s also tough to know whether you’ll cover the right distance on pitch shots. In this video, Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Joe Compitello helps you with both skills.

SWING THOUGHTS

Swing the club into the ball from the inside to promote a draw
To prevent a slice, keep the clubface looking at the ball longer in the takeaway
For short pitch shots, finish with the club pointing to the ground out in front of you
For longer pitch shots, swing the club through so it’s pointing to the sky

DRILLS

The Draw Path

  • Set up with your driver, and stick a tee eight inches behind the ball and two inches outside the target line. Stick another tee eight inches in front of the ball and two inches inside the target line.
  • Your goal is to swing through this “gate” without touching either tee, promoting an in-to-out swing, which will help you hit a draw.
  • After some practice swings, tee up a ball and hit drives without touching either tee.

Distance Pitching

  • Practice a three-step system for varying pitching distance.
  • First, make a short pitch swing and hold the finish with the club pointing at the ground.
  • On the next shot, finish so the club is pointing at the target.
  • Finally, finish with the club pointing at the sky. Note how distance changes as the finish changes.

12 Days to Better Golf

Lesson
1 / 12
Day 1: Putting Basics + Making Solid Contact
2 / 12
Day 2: Ball-Striking + Short Putts
3 / 12
Day 3: Keys For Chipping + The Swing Sequence
4 / 12
Day 4: Weight Shift + Steady Chips
5 / 12
Day 5: Driving For Distance + Precision Pitching
6 / 12
Day 6: Impact Checks + Swing Motion
7 / 12
Day 7: Finesse Wedges + Iron-Play Basics
8 / 12
Day 8: Solid Strikes + Wedge Play
9 / 12
Day 9: Fairway Woods + Distance Putting
10 / 12
Day 10: Putting Feel + Impact Test
11 / 12
Day 11: Pitching Accuracy + The Driver Draw
12 / 12
Day 12: Power Driving + Wedge Control
12 Days to Better Golf INDEX
Day 1: Putting Basics + Making Solid Contact
1/12
Day 1: Putting Basics + Making Solid Contact
  • Make your short putts
  • Get more solid strikes
  • Make your short putts
  • Get more solid strikes
Day 2: Ball-Striking + Short Putts
2/12
Day 2: Ball-Striking + Short Putts
  • How to take perfect divots
  • How to hit putts on line
  • How to take perfect divots
  • How to hit putts on line
Day 3: Keys For Chipping + The Swing Sequence
3/12
Day 3: Keys For Chipping + The Swing Sequence
  • Make chipping simple
  • Learn to use your body
  • Make chipping simple
  • Learn to use your body
Day 4: Weight Shift + Steady Chips
4/12
Day 4: Weight Shift + Steady Chips
  • How to shift your weight
  • How to nip those chips
  • How to shift your weight
  • How to nip those chips
Day 5: Driving For Distance + Precision Pitching
5/12
Day 5: Driving For Distance + Precision Pitching
  • Add distance off the tee
  • Upgrade your pitching
  • Add distance off the tee
  • Upgrade your pitching
Day 6: Impact Checks + Swing Motion
6/12
Day 6: Impact Checks + Swing Motion
  • How to control your pitches
  • How to boost swing speed
  • How to control your pitches
  • How to boost swing speed
Day 7: Finesse Wedges + Iron-Play Basics
7/12
Day 7: Finesse Wedges + Iron-Play Basics
  • Sync up your wedges
  • Stretch for distance
  • Sync up your wedges
  • Stretch for distance
Day 8: Solid Strikes + Wedge Play
8/12
Day 8: Solid Strikes + Wedge Play
  • How to groove pure impact
  • How to master the no-hit wedge
  • How to groove pure impact
  • How to master the no-hit wedge
Day 9: Fairway Woods + Distance Putting
9/12
Day 9: Fairway Woods + Distance Putting
  • Crush your fairway woods
  • Eliminate three-putts
  • Crush your fairway woods
  • Eliminate three-putts
Day 10: Putting Feel + Impact Test
10/12
Day 10: Putting Feel + Impact Test
  • How to become a feel putter
  • How to flush it off the fairway
  • How to become a feel putter
  • How to flush it off the fairway
Day 11: Pitching Accuracy + The Driver Draw
11/12
Day 11: Pitching Accuracy + The Driver Draw
  • Pitch like the pros
  • Learn to hit a power draw
  • Pitch like the pros
  • Learn to hit a power draw
Day 12: Power Driving + Wedge Control
12/12
Day 12: Power Driving + Wedge Control
  • How to turn it right to left
  • How to pitch any distance
  • How to turn it right to left
  • How to pitch any distance